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Mo Ya Lim Yao vs.

Commissioner of Immigration

GR L-21289, 4 October 1971

Fact of the case: On 8 February 1961, Lau Yuen Yeung applied for a passport visa to
enter the Philippines as a non-immigrant, for a temporary visitor's visa to enter the
Philippines. She was permitted to come into the Philippines on 13 March 1961. On the
date of her arrival, Asher Y, Cheng filed a bond in the amount of P1,000.00 to undertake,
among others, that said Lau Yuen Yeung would actually depart from the Philippines on
or before the expiration of her authorized period of stay in this country or within the
period as in his discretion the Commissioner of Immigration. After repeated extensions,
she was allowed to stay in the Philippines up to 13 February 1962. On 25 January 1962,
she contracted marriage with Moy Ya Lim Yao alias Edilberto Aguinaldo Lim an alleged
Filipino citizen. Because of the contemplated action of the Commissioner of Immigration
to confiscate her bond and order her arrest and immediate deportation, after the expiration
of her authorized stay, she brought an action for injunction with preliminary injunction.
The Court of First Instance of Manila (Civil Case 49705) denied the prayer for
preliminary injunction. Moya Lim Yao and Lau Yuen Yeung appealed.


Whether Lau Yuen Yeung ipso facto became a Filipino citizen upon her marriage
to a Filipino citizen.


Under Section 15 of Commonwealth Act 473, an alien woman marrying a

Filipino, native born or naturalized, becomes ipso facto a Filipina provided she is not
disqualified to be a citizen of the Philippines under Section 4 of the same law. Likewise,
an alien woman married to an alien who is subsequently naturalized here follows the
Philippine citizenship of her husband the moment he takes his oath as Filipino citizen,
provided that she does not suffer from any of the disqualifications under said Section 4.
Whether the alien woman requires to undergo the naturalization proceedings, Section 15
is a parallel provision to Section 16. Thus, if the widow of an applicant for naturalization
as Filipino, who dies during the proceedings, is not required to go through a
naturalization proceedings, in order to be considered as a Filipino citizen hereof, it should
follow that the wife of a living Filipino cannot be denied the same privilege. Everytime
the citizenship of a person is material or indispensible in a judicial or administrative case,
Whatever the corresponding court or administrative authority decides therein as to such
citizenship is generally not considered as res adjudicata, hence it has to be threshed out
again and again as the occasion may demand. Lau Yuen Yeung, was declared to have
become a Filipino citizen from and by virtue of her marriage to Moy Ya Lim Yao al as
Edilberto Aguinaldo Lim, a Filipino citizen of 25 January 1962.